Thursday, May 19, 2016

Slow-Cooker Beef Lettuce Wraps

Two nights in a row of new recipes!  I love anything Asian-inspired.  I get a few cooking magazines in the mail (Everyday with Rachael Ray, Cooking Light, Southern Living).  Honestly, I don’t end up cooking the recipes as much as I’d like – most of my meal ideas come from Pinterest.  But I like getting something in snail-mail besides bills and junk. 

My June copy of Cooking Light had this recipe for beef lettuce wraps with pickled vegetables.  It only had cucumbers and carrots, but I added some red bell peppers, green onions, and mushrooms to make it extra veggie-filled. 

My favorite lettuce wraps are the ones at the Cheesecake Factory.  I rarely eat there anymore since I prefer trying out non-chain restaurants, but every time I go, that’s my dish.  Somehow it’s considered an appetizer but it’s big enough for two people to split it as a meal (that restaurant definitely doesn’t understand portion sizes…)

The beef wraps that we made were so filling that I actually could only eat two. Even though the beef cooks in juices, next time I may throw together a separate dipping sauce since I love the ones from the Cheesecake Factory version (maybe a peanut sauce could be nice?)

Lance actually used the leftovers from this dish to make a really tasty quiche a few days later. 

Slow-Cooker Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps: (adapted from Cooking Light)
  • Cooking spray (we always use coconut oil spray)
  • 1 large onion, cut into ½” slices
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-1/2 t olive oil
  • 1 2-lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed
  • ½ cup unsalted beef stock
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 11 T rice vinegar, divided
  • 2 T dark sesame oil, divided
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T unsalted tomato paste
  • 1 T white miso/soybean paste (I omitted this since it wasn’t an ingredient I’d normally use…)
  • ¾ t crushed red pepper
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • ¾ cup julienne-cut carrots
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • ¾ t sale
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 t toasted sesame seeds

1. Coat the bottom and sides of your slow cooker with spray.  Line with onions and garlic. 

2. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the roast to the pan, cooking about 3 minutes and turning to brown all sides.  Place the beef on top of the onions and garlic and pour the drippings from the pan on top.

3. Combine the stock, soy sauce, 3 T of the vinegar, 1 T sesame oil, brown sugar, tomato paste, and red pepper in a medium bowl and whisk together.  Pour over the beef, cover the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

4. Place the cucumber, carrots, and red pepper in a shallow bowl 15 minutes before the meat is done.  Combine the remaining ½ cup rice vinegar, 1 cup water, and granulated sugar in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and pour over the vegetables.  Let stand until ready to serve, then drain well. 

5. Move the beef from the slow cooker to a large platter and shred with 2 forks.   

6. Heat the remaining 1 T sesame oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shredded beef and onions, pressing into an even layer.  Cook 2-3 minutes without stirring. Turn off and sprinkle with salt and ½ c liquid from the crock pot (discard the rest of the liquid). 

7. Serve the beef with the pickled vegetables, green onions, and mushrooms.  Top with sesame seeds. 

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